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The Night is Young: Sexuality in Mexico in the Time of AIDS
by Héctor Carrillo
University of Chicago Press, 2002
Paper: 978-0-226-09303-1 | Cloth: 978-0-226-09302-4
Library of Congress Classification HQ18.M4C37 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.7097235

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Night Is Young takes us past the stereotypes of macho hombres and dark-eyed señoritas to reveal the complex nature of sexuality in modern-day Mexico. Drawing on field research conducted in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, Héctor Carrillo shows how modernization, globalization, and other social changes have affected a wide range of hetero- and homosexual practices and identities.

Carrillo finds that young Mexicans today grapple in a variety of ways with two competing tendencies. On the one hand, many seek to challenge traditional ideas and values they find limiting. But they also want to maintain a sense of Mexico's cultural distinctiveness, especially in relation to the United States. For example, while Mexicans are well aware of the dangers of unprotected sex, they may also prize the surrender to sexual passion, even in casual sexual encounters—an attitude which stems from the strong values placed on collective life, spontaneity, and an openness toward intimacy. Because these expectations contrast sharply with messages about individuality, planning, and overt negotiation commonly promoted in global public health efforts, Carrillo argues that they demand a new approach to AIDS prevention education in Mexico.

A Mexican native, Carrillo has written an exceptionally insightful and accessible study of the relations among sexuality, social change, and AIDS prevention in Mexico. Anyone concerned with the changing place of sexuality in a modern and increasingly globalized world will profit greatly from The Night Is Young.

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